We would like to cite a detailed response of Sheikh Muhammad bn Salih Al-Munajjid, on this matter. He said:

“The husband has to treat his wife kindly, because Allah says “and live with them honorably” (Al-Nisa‘ 4:19)

Part of living with one’s spouse honorably is having intercourse, which is obligatory upon the husband, as much as is sufficient to satisfy her, so long as it does not harm him physically or distract him from earning a living.

The wife is obliged to obey her husband if he calls her to his bed, and if she refuses then she is sinning, because of the report narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to his bed and she does not come to him, and he goes to sleep angry with her, the angels will curse her until morning.” (Al-Bukhari)

Sheikh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “She has to obey him if he calls her to his bed, and this is a duty that is obligatory upon her. … If she refuses to respond to his call, then she is being disobedient and willfully defiant. … As Allah says:

As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance” (Al-Nisaa‘ 4:34)” (Al-ftawa Al-Kubra)

But it is not permissible for the husband to force his wife to do that for which she is not able with regard to intercourse. If she has an excuse because she is sick or she cannot bear it, then she is not sinning if she refuses to have intercourse.

Ibn Hazm said: “Both slave women and free women are enjoined not to refuse the master or husband if he calls them for intercourse, so long as the woman who is called is not menstruating or sick and likely to be harmed by intercourse, or observing an obligatory fast. If she refuses with no excuse then she is cursed.” (Al-Muhalah)

The wife whose husband is harming her by having intercourse too often may come to some agreement with her husband concerning a specific number that she can put up with, and if he does more to such an extent that it is harmful to her, then she has the right to refer the matter to the judge, who may determine a specific number and oblige both husband and wife to adhere to that.

So, both spouses have to tackle this problem in a kind, loving and frank manner; and each of them should understand the rights and duties that they have, because most marital problems stem from ignorance of that.

Some husbands are keen to satisfy their own desires, and they hasten to do that without caring about their wives or paying attention to their right to pleasure, so the wife finds no enjoyment in it, hate it, and it becomes a problem and a burden for her.

Hence we say: ” Strive to create love and affection between you and your wife; pay attention to her situation and understand her feelings; avoid that which will harm her or hurt her. Tell her of the sharia ruling concerning this issue and help her to follow it, and do not put her off, and be moderate in your approach, and you will get what you want.”